Ballerina Profile: Kristen Gillette

Me “stretching” (the railing was low) by Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

That’s right, me. I’m still in the process of getting a few interviews back, so in the meantime, I figured I’d share some information about myself that I haven’t posted here before.

I started doing ballet in March of 2012. I took a class once a week at Philly Dance Fitness for a while before I was living in two places this summer (Allentown and Philadelphia) and could only manage the occasional class at Koresh Dance Studio. I started going two times a week (or more, I’m at 3 or 4 now) in the beginning of September.

I took classes for three years as a kid, at about age 4. I quit after year three because my parents moved us to dance classes held in the basement of a church and not a “real” dance studio. I wasn’t a fan of the move, and I quit.

I’ve wanted to take adult classes for over a year now. It wasn’t until my boyfriend helped push me into finally buying a pair of ballet shoes that I finally got over my fears of being the “new girl” in class and finally signed up.

I take classes at both Philly Dance Fitness and Koresh Dance Studio. I started at Philly Dance Fitness, and I love my instructor, Beverly, for being as welcoming as she is to new students. I started taking classes at Koresh to get more of a “real studio” feel, and I love both, although Koresh is super challenging sometimes for a newbie.

My favorite part of ballet is turns. Currently, I can only land en dedan pirouettes (which my instructors rarely seem to work on). But I love working on them, and turns are my favorite thing to work on at home.

My least favorite part is jumps. I was FINALLY getting a handle on them a while ago, but now they

On the Race Street Pier in Philly.

I want to take modern jazz classes. Otherwise, I’ve only taken one hiphop class (and the studio stopped offering them). Koresh offers a variety of classes, and I’ve meant to take modern jazz but the class is labeled “beginner” scares me. I take an intro to ballet class there and that is tough enough as it is.

My hobbies outside of ballet including writing, TV, and crocheting. I ran a TV blog when I was younger on Blogger.

My advice to new beginners is DON’T GIVE UP. Although your first experience in a dance studio can be nerve-racking and you might not do so hot, COME BACK anyway. You’ll get better. I’ve noticed that a lot of people  show up for their first class and never return. Just remember that everyone had to start at some point.

Anything else you’d like to know about me?

 

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